Regardless of the topic of conversation, be it geopolitical, domestic politics, vaccinations, response to the pandemic, or a host of other current or historical topics, people have strong opinions and judge others for their beliefs ¾ be they an affirmation of (bonding with) a like-minded belief, or rejection of an opposing belief. We hold dear to our beliefs and respond accordingly; sometimes dismissively, other times with aggression and anger, judgement and condemnation, and even violence. Why?
If we are rational, thoughtful, data driven human beings, how on earth can we look at the same data, the same reports, hear the exact same explanations and yet draw conclusions for ourselves of such diverging opinions? As a professional engineer, I am schooled in reason, logic, observation, and measurement; the process for all scientific and traditional academic schooling and research. However, that discipline and learning came well after my consciousness had been programmed. As we grow from childhood to adulthood, we observe and experience, the behavior, actions and beliefs of others. We unknowingly adopt patterns of thinking and feeling that make sense to us. Through this process we think we are becoming versed in the ways of the world, each of us programming our subconsciousness with patterns of thinking and linking them strongly to our corresponding emotions. We view the world through our own lens. To each of us, the outer conditions in which we live, that we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, predicate the conditions in which the body resides. But the truth is, it is our own personal consciousness that experiences and responds to the external conditions and events. It is our beliefs about life, about others, about what is true and what is false that determines our view of the world.
What I believe to be true or false is only a belief. Each of us has our own set of beliefs that shape our opinions and reactions to the world around us. These are the fruits of free will, everyone has the right to choose. We must learn to acknowledge and accept that others have the right to their beliefs, even if they are contrary and nonsensical to us. We should strive to do this with love in our hearts and thoughts; neither judging nor condemning those that have differing beliefs and opinions. Do not use your intellect and knowledge as a podium from which to criticize, denigrate or condemn others who do not measure up to the idea of your own goodness.
Work to treat everyone with love, understanding and acceptance. What you think and feel returns to you—like attracts like. But that alone should not be the reason to treat people well. Treat others well because our souls are hidden within the ego yearning to return to the light, to love, to its’ eternal resting place. We are all equal at soul level. As humans, we are all subject to human desires, frailties, disappointments and anger. We all make mistakes. We are all learning the lessons we need to learn. So be kind and hold yourself and others in your mind with love and forgiveness. This is the only way I know to free yourself and them. Be a beacon for others to follow. Do not push your beliefs on them. Share your knowledge if people are curious and open to know more; otherwise hold your peace.